2021, January '21, Roundups

2021: The Beginning

So, this is 2021. I want to start by thanking everyone who supported my blog and other social media in 2020! It wasn’t the easiest year to start a blog… and towards the end of year my blogging tailed off rather. Like many people, I’ve been struggling with the lack of structure, uncertainty and demotivation that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has brought, so blogging was moved down my list of priorities as I tried to maintain my mental health and schoolwork. However I’ve missed reviewing books and interacting with all you other bookworms, and so one of my goals for 2021 is to at least attempt a regular posting schedule! As an introduction to me and 2021, this post will have a bit about who I am, my goals for 2021 and (of course) books!

1. Me (the basics)

Hi! If you’re new here, welcome, if you’re not, thank you for returning! My name is Bee, I’m 18 years old and my pronouns are she/her. I started this blog about a year ago at the start of 2020 because I love books and wanted to review them and connect with the book community. On this blog you will not only find book reviews, but also other book-related content such as lists of books on a certain theme or author-focused posts. There also might be the occasional non-book content, I’m not sure yet. Stick around to find out.

2. My Books

I like to think I read quite a range of genres. My go-to is fantasy, but I also like YA, all kinds of nonfiction, historical fiction, poetry, sci-fi and the occasional mystery or thriller. Plus pretty much anything with good LGBTQ+ representation, although that could be applied to much of the media I consume. To ease myself into 2021 I’ve been reading a bit of contemporary YA- I find it much easier to slip into than fantasy, probably because I’m not trying to wrap my head around 8 new countries, 5 political factions, 3 contenders for the throne and a whole magic system.

3. My Writing

Creative writing has always been my favourite part of English lessons, and in autumn 2019 I came across an amazing little thing called NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is pretty self-explanatory: you try and write some of a novel in a month. Specifically, November. It was my first time committing to a serious writing project, so I set myself a goal of 30,000 words, and to my great surprise, I completed it. Since then I finished that novel, shelved it for reasons such as I couldn’t bear to read more than a couple of pages, wrote another novel in early 2020, and started writing the second draft of said novel in NaNoWriMo 2020. This time I was in the adult program, so I threw myself at the goal of 50,000 words and to my great surprise (again), I reached it! At this moment in time I have not finished that second draft, but I have good intentions.

I also write poetry. This writing is less regular and more emotional word vomit, a form of catharsis. I do not show my poetry to anyone, because the idea is absolutely mortifying, like running through a park nude or walking into a grocery store without my mask on. I would feel utterly exposed. I’m a big fan of the haiku, and the Shakespearean sonnet, the former of which is quite fun and simple, the latter considerably less so. I’ve written quite a lot of poetry in 2020, enough to fill 1.5 notebooks, and I am going to write more, if only so I can move onto the gorgeous notebook I got for Christmas..

4. My 2021 Goals

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because, personally, I find them quite hard to stick to and very easy to fail at. However, if I just make random goals for myself at any point I feel like, then the pressure is removed and there’s no deadline to come up with a life changing resolution that I will implement the moment the clock strikes midnight. My goals for 2021 (so far) are as follows:

  • Drink more water.
  • Write at least one blog post a month. Hopefully more.
  • Read a bit of a book once a week. I love reading, but sometimes I find myself putting it off if I’ve found a particularly good Netflix series or have a mountain of work to do.
  • Self-care. I don’t know what form this will take yet, nor how exactly I’m going to do it, but I want to take care of myself more this year. Maybe starting with a sleep schedule that doesn’t involve going to bed at 4am.

5. What do I actually do?

You might be wondering what I do when I’m not reading, writing or sleeping. You might not. If you’re not, feel free to skip this section.

I am currently in my last year of compulsory education, and I was supposed to be doing my A-Levels this summer. At this point they have been cancelled, although people have started mentioning ‘mini exams’ which sound suspiciously like A-Levels by a different name. I study English, Classical Civilisation and Economics, a task which was much easier when lessons weren’t all online. I am hoping to go to university in the autumn, and I was recently offered a place at Oxford causing much excitement, then slightly less excitement when I remembered I still have to get the grades.

In my free time I practice taekwondo, one of the only things keeping me sane through the lockdowns. It’s not the same, without in-person classes, but my club has done an incredible job providing a variety of classes over zoom almost every day of the week. I also like going for walks, regulations permitting, because there is nothing that clears my mind like a brisk walk with some music playing. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed spending time with my friends. I still enjoy spending time with my friends, just now it’s more zoom calls and virtual movie nights rather than coffee shops and sleepovers. The only other thing I do is play Minecraft, a game which I still haven’t got bored of despite playing on and off since I was about 8. It truly does have endless possibilities.

I know 2021 hasn’t started as well as we might have hoped, but I have my fingers crossed for a better rest of the year, whatever that means for you. May this be the year that you find a new favourite book, discover an author that reignites your passion for books or find some comfort in old reads previously forgotten. I’m sending you and your families lots of love, and if you ever want someone to talk to, about anything from 2021 goals to the weather in your area, I love to hear from you. You can contact me on this page here, or if you prefer I have several social media which I will link below. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!

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